Fifth annual meeting of labour and employment ministers
of member states along the Europe – Asia ASEM-LEMC dialogue
3-4 december 2015, Sofia

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About the meeting

Fifth ASEM Labour and Employment Ministers’ Conference
  3-4 December 2015, SOFIA, BULGARIA


On 3-4 December 2015 Sofia will host the Fifth ASEM-LEMC conference. This is the first significant event in the framework of ASEM to be hosted by our country. The forum will be chaired by the Deputy prime minister and Minister of labour and social policy Ivaylo Kalfin. Co-chair will be the Commissioner for Employment at the European Commission, Marianne Thyssen.The title of the conference is: 'Towards Sustainable Social Development in Asia and Europe: A Joint Vision for Decent Work and Social Protection'.

To enhance cooperation and dialogue in the field of employment and social policies four forums like the one in Sofia have been held since 2006 among ASEM partnering countries. The last conference was in Hanoi, Vietnam, in 2012. Participants discussed opportunities for sustainable and inclusive growth, health conditions at work and social corporate responsibility.

The Asia-Europe Meeting ASEM is a process of dialogue and cooperation between Asia and Europe. ASEM has no permanently operating institutional structure, except for the Europe-Asia Foundation (ASEF). ASEM currently has 51 partnering countries and 2 organisations, including the Asian group (the 10 ASEAN membering countries:Brunei, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and thePhilippines, as well as China, Japan, Republic of Korea, India, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Bangladesh and Kazakhstan, along with the ASEAN Secretariat), and the European group (EU Member States, the European Union represented by EAS, Switzerland and Norway).   

Covering  58% of the global population and 60% of world trade, ASEM  represents a major platform for dialogue and cooperation between Europe and Asia. The activities of the forum are divided in three pillars: political, economic, and cultural and social issues of cooperation.

A decision for Bulgaria to participate in the ASEM forum was made at the ASEM-6 summit in Helsinki  in 2006. Our participation began with the country’s accession to EU on 1 January 2007. Now Bulgaria is among the ongoing co-organisers of the ASEM Dialogue for sustainable growth, submitting reports and making presentations at the conferences held on the subject.  

For more information about ASEM:

Ministry of Labour and Social Policy of the Republic of Bulgaria
European Commision
ASEM InfoBoard